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  I’m not one to eat something just because it has nutritional and health benefits – if it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it (unless someone comes up with a food GUARANTEED for instant weight loss or the fountain of youth, in which case all bets are off and I’ll try anything). Ancient grains […]

First Course (Primi), Main Dish, Recipes, Salad, Vegetables

Farro Salad with Kale, Radishes and Toasted Walnuts

Farro Salad

I’ll never forget my first one. It was in springtime in Sienna. I’m a bit fuzzy on the year, but it was post lira and the dollar was 80¢ to the euro (far better than $1.38 today) so quite a few years ago. And I very clearly recall the beautiful Tod’s shoes I bought that […]

Food Production, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

10 Things to Know About Prosecco


It started as a Mom’s outing 13 years ago while the kids were at school.  We’d drop them off, then meet at Cathijo’s, piling into one car loaded with a cooler. Arthur Avenue in the Bronx was our destination – “The Real Little Italy”  as the neighborhood calls itself. Generations of family owned Italian bakeries, […]


Arthur Avenue – The Bronx

Arthur Avenue Sign

As much as I love to cook, there’s something about baking that makes my heart sing. Maybe it’s the warming scent of hot dough in the oven that I find so comforting. Perhaps it’s that with baking there’s always plenty for everyone and I enjoy sharing and feeding others. Possibly it’s because I’m a numbers person […]

Books, Dessert, Recipes, Travel

Ciambella all’Arancia (Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake)

From Laney – It was sort of Girl’s Night Out but we did it in at Cristina’s house for another one of her fabulous meals. But this time, we were going to help her make homemade ravioli. Monica picked me up at Col delle Rane, then we picked up Marisa and off we went to […]

First Course (Primi), Pasta, Recipes

Ravioli di Ricotta e Menta (Ravioli with Ricotta and Mint)-Video with Cristina


You’ve asked for it and here it is again…and just in case you missed our new page about our amazing October 5-11 2014 tour in Lake Garda, here’s your chance for a first time looky-see. Join Deborah Scarpa and I for our Lake Garda Experience Tour which includes: Elegant wine tasting and vineyard dinner Lake Garda thermal water […]


Two Incredible Italian Tours

Prosecco in Salo

Congratulations to the winner of our Cookbook Giveaway – Amy Hunsberger! Courtesy of Chronicle Books and Colman Andrews, Amy will receive an autographed copy of The Country Cooking of Italy. Thanks to everyone for your fabulous comments!  I wonder if Colman Andrews, the internationally acclaimed food, wine and travel writer, ever gets tired of the […]

Books, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup

A Conversation with Colman Andrews on The Country Cooking of Italy and Cookbook Giveaway

The Country Cooking of Italy

  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s all about food. Wait, okay…I take that back – it’s about giving thanks FOR the food. And family. And health. And anything else that makes your heart swell on this truly American holiday. We eat and drink…that’s it! No gifts, no religion. I love cooking the meal […]

Dessert, Holidays, Recipes

Pumpkin Tiramisu (Tiramisù di Zucca)

Pumpkin Tiramisu

One of my favorite things about the Italian countryside is the abundance of small, family owned hotels and the food they serve. Each has its own personality, expertise and of course, recipes. Col delle Rane, an agriturismo 30 miles northwest of Venice is one of these special places. Owned by the Gallina family for three […]

Dessert, Recipes, Travel

Apple Cake (Torta di Mele) from Col delle Rane Agriturismo

Apple Cake

  I hereby give a huge apology to all the boxes of pasta in my pantry – “I’m so sorry for taking you for granted all my life and will never do it again.” I promise to never look at a box of pasta in the same uncaring way, nor toss it in my grocery […]

Food Production, Pasta, Recipes

A Visit to Pasta Rigo (Pastificio Rigo) and Baked Stuffed Shells Recipe

Stuffed Shells

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